In the first funding period, a multimodal experimental imaging facility for mice, the Cologne Experimental Eye Imaging Center (CEE-IC), was established. In combination with specific acquisition and processing algorithms, which were developed for and adapted to the needs of the individual projects, the monitoring and classification of inflammatory ocular diseases have been made possible. In experimental studies using models for e.g. corneal inflammation, corneal edema and retinal degeneration, quantitative analyses including the three-dimensional quantification of pathological blood vessels in the same animals over time were carried out. In the planned second funding period, the facility will be extended with the aim of establishing specific optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging on a cellular level. For this purpose, a microscopic OCT (mOCT) system will be installed, which allows for non-invasive in vivo investigation of murine eyes in three dimensions with a resolution down to 1 micrometer. Furthermore, the use of specifically addressed nanoparticles for quantification of ocular surface inflammation will be explored. The potential for the clinical translation of the innovative hardware and software approaches will be evaluated. Altogether, the new possibilities will bring advantages for all involved projects. For example, non-invasive imaging of clinically invisible lymphatic vessels including the visualization of intraluminal cells will be possible in the same animals over time. Using mOCT will make structural and angiographic OCT imaging more competitive to invasive histology and consequently has the potential to significantly reduce the number of animals in preclinical research.
|Effective start/end date||01.01.18 → 30.06.22|
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):